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Crystal Currency

crystal currency

Crystals as a commodity! WTF!

Have you seen how much fine crystals and minerals are selling for right now?  Over the last ten years, I’ve watched the price increase at an alarming rate!
One of my hobbies is to window shop. I can spend hours watching auctions, Instagram lives and scrolling through the mineral pages on Pinterest. I’m quite content to just sit and absorb the beauty. I don’t suffer from crystal envy, thank goodness!  I’ve sat and watched the price rise and rise over the years and it has left me wondering about what’s going on.

I was having a discussion with my mineral man the other month, and we got talking about how crystals and minerals are fast becoming like fine, collectable art. Mineral collectors would argue and say that this is nothing new. Still, I think we’d be in agreement about the significant price increase over a relatively short period. Things aren’t slowing down either.

What prompted me to write about this was because of a recent experience. I found myself caught up in a situation that I had no chance of winning!

Many of you may have seen a recent arrival of the finest Starbrary Optical Quartz clusters here at Castle Rocks. I knew I was lucky to have been given access to the first small batch. There weren’t any such Starbraries anywhere else in the world, and I was so excited to be able to share these and offer them at a reasonable price.

They proved to be incredibly popular (as expected). I decided to reach out to my friend and supplier, to try and arrange another shipment but I was told that there will never be any more available!

The owner of the small mine and land gave exclusive rights to a large corporate Chinese group. A price paid that no-one could compete with.

I totally get it, and I’m not in any way resentful to the landowner. I’d do the same thing if I were a small independent miner living in the mountains of South America.  It would be like winning the lottery.
What upsets me is that the Quartz will probably never be seen by you or me. It will only be available to collectors or visible in private auctions, and the price would be unfathomable.

I have a number of crystals and minerals that are now worth a lot more than I originally paid.  I used to collect Green Apophyllite, and when I started, it was pretty easy and affordable, now it’s a different story. I have a piece that cost me £25, it is now worth £425!!! I bought a lovely little cluster of clear dog-tooth Calcite for £21, and now it’s worth £200+.

I’ve seen numerous courses being offered by reputable gemologists and associations, teaching people how to use crystals and minerals as a commodity. I see this as a double-edged sword! Good in the sense that if you have some nice pieces, then cha-ching! But bad in the sense that premium crystals and minerals are going to get very expensive in the years to come.  Seriously though, if you have a nice collection, and I know some of you do, make sure you have a good insurance policy and look after those beauties.

Back in the day, collectors didn’t really bother with Quartz clusters so much. Still, since the Chinese groups started buying and selling to an exclusive market, the price has rocketed. Collectors are going mad for them.
Also, the corporates have done their homework! They understand that there is a big metaphysical market and it’s growing rapidly (a good thing!) They’re not stupid!

There are gemstones, minerals and crystals – strip it all back, and they’re minerals at the end of the day.
You have precious stones and semi-precious stones.
The big four are ones we all know; Diamond, Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald. Then there are the semi-precious stones such as Amethyst, Aquamarine, Topaz, Moonstone, Jade, Garnet, Tanzanite…the list is endless really.
They say in the mineral world that if a stone has a hardness of 5 or under, then it can’t be classed as a gemstone due to its poor durability.
And then, of course, there is the rarity of the stone. For example; Tanzanite is only found in one location in the world, Tanzania, making it super rare and super expensive. The opals from Australia are another good example.  Genuine Herkimer Diamonds from Herkimer County, NY, Larimar from the Dominican Republic….again, the list is endless.

So why are all the quartz crystals being bought up by the large corporate groups? Possibly because they are being used to make top-grade jewellery or that they know they’re on to something with the metaphysical market. Or, is it because they’re stockpiling for a future currency? I’ve seen the rise in BitCoin currency. I have friends who are laughing all the way to the bank right now because they decided to invest in the early days.
My shopping platforms are always sending emails about how I should consider adding BitCoin or Crypto Currency as a payment option.

I really do believe that crystals and minerals are going this way. So, if you get the opportunity to buy a super nice crystal/gemstone/mineral, don’t hesitate, do it and know that it’s an investment.  Crystals are currency!

Crystals will always provide for us. I remember a time when I was heading off to Uni to do a full-time degree, I was also moving home (twice) and trying to make ends meet! I started selling parts of my private collection to help me fund the process – six years down the line, and here I am now. If it wasn’t for the holding value of the crystals I once bought and collected, I doubt Castle Rocks Cornwall would be in existence now.

I wonder what is going to happen.  I might put a reminder in my diary to check back here in 10yrs time.  I think it’ll be very interesting.

Some eye candy to leave you with, enjoy x

Veracruz Amethyst - Salvador Ascencio Tapia
Aragonite - Edmilson Univer
Wullfenite - Garbrielle Trimble
Herkimer Diamond - Geologyin blog
Blue Barite - Pbs Twing
Tanzanite - Bijoux-et-minerals
Rose Quartz - unknown source
Vanadinite on Barite - Thomas Spann
Elbaite and Lepidolite - Van King
Tourmaline - Crystal Classics
Tanzanite - Thomas Uhlig
Rhodochrosite - Anton Watzl
Rhodochrosite close up - Lumen Stones
Raspberry Red Rubellite -unknown
Raspberry Purple Fluorite - Exceptional Minerals
Cobalto Calcite, Shattuckite and Chrysocolla - Price Down Min.
Calcite star on matrix - Anton Watzl
Aquamarine on Feldspar - Mardani F. Minerals
Ajoite and Papagoite Phantom Quartz - Lumen Stones
Veracruz Amethyst - Salvador Ascencio Tapia